Utah delegation follows partisan split in response to Trump border proposal

By Art Raymond, KSL | Posted - Jan. 19, 2019 at 10:17 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — A nationally televised presentation of a border security compromise proposal Saturday from President Donald Trump was met with mixed results, including from Utah's congressional delegation.

The president offered to extend temporary protections for young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children and those fleeing disaster zones in exchange for his long-promised border wall. But while Trump cast the move as a "common-sense compromise," Democrats were quick to dismiss it at a "non-starter."

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The Republican members of Utah's federal delegation roundly supported the President's proposal. Utah's lone Democrat in the House, Rep. Ben McAdams, saw the president's pitch as at least a sign of movement toward compromise, but not the solution.

Though Trump presented his proposal while McAdams was still speaking with constituents, and he noted he hadn't had a chance to review the details, he said he'd still like to see government reopened while negotiations continue on border security and immigration issues.

"We've got American people who are suffering during this negotiation," McAdams said. "I don't think we should continue making the American people pay the price of that while we negotiate. I'm not saying I won't sit down and negotiate until the government is open, but we should open the government and have this negotiation on a parallel track."

McAdams also highlighted his desire to see a permanent, rather than short-term, solution for so-called Dreamers, as well as comprehensive immigration reform.

Other members of the state's federal delegation weighed-in with statements or social media postings in response to the Trump proposal.

  • Rep. Rob Bishop: "I like it. Let's vote."
  • Rep. John Curtis: "The President has made a reasonable, good-faith offer, and I hope my Democratic colleagues will give it the fair consideration it deserves. No compromise is perfect, but we all can agree on the importance of ending this shutdown."
  • Sen. Mike Lee: "It is very good to hear that we will be voting on a solution to end the government shutdown and secure the border this week. I look forward to reading the legislation and being able to offer amendments if they are needed."
  • Sen. Mitt Romney: "(President Trump) has put forth a reasonable, good faith proposal that will reopen the government and help secure the border. I look forward to voting for it and will work to encourage my Republican and Democratic colleagues to do the same."
  • Rep. Chris Stewart: "The President put forward a very reasonable proposal that would secure our southern border and provide much needed humanitarian relief as well as relief for our Dreamers. He has tried to compromise with the Democrats, but they rejected his offer before they even heard it. It's time they came to the table and negotiated in good faith."

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